At less than $200, the new 4GB and 8GB iPod Nanos will surely be the most popular tech stocking stuffer this year. While the updated iPod Classic and iPod Touch are equally drool-worthy, the new Nano is obviously priced to move.
I was fortunate enough to get some hands-on time with the all the new iPods at the launch event, and even though the iPod Touch is clearly the star of the show, the new Nano is really the one to watch for. The 2-inch screen packs a dense and crisp 320x240 video resolution that looks very nice. The revamped graphic user interface (shared with the iPod Classic) is graphically rich and uses both a Cover Flow method for browsing music content, as well as a split-screen view used for browsing music, videos, photos, and more.
There's lots of small touches included on the new Nano that are easy to miss. For instance, Apple's music shuffle function has evolved. With this latest generation of iPods, after launching the player's shuffle function, users can now access the shuffle mode settings (shuffle song/shuffle album/shuffle off) from within the Now Playing pane by pressing the center button four times. This might seem insignificant, but it effectively gives users the ability to steer the shuffle function--randomizing song selections until they find something they like, then effortlessly disengaging the shuffle function once they've found an artist or album they'd like to hear more from. Accomplishing the same effect using… Read more